The Concert began on an informative note as the pianist stood in front of the audience and explained the importance of piano concertos. He compared Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.9 to Beethoven’s third symphony “the Eroica symphony”, in that it changed the way piano concertos are composed like how Beethoven’s Eroica symphony changed the way symphonies are composed. As he explained, the heart of the concerto is the interplay of orchestra and piano, which Mozart brought to new heights. However, Mozart’s concertos go much further because he explored the interplay of all the instruments: the oboe with the horns, the horns with the cello, and even the pianist’s right hand with the pianist’s left hand.
Piano Concerto No.9 is considered by many to be his first masterpiece, which Mozart wrote at the age of 21. This really struck me because I am 21 years old and uhhh nothing needs to be said.
For the Piano Concerto there was a guest conductor because Arie Lipinsky had a pinched nerve. Interestingly, the conductor did not face the pianist, which means he was not conducting the pianist, only the rest of the orchestra. I have never seen this at a classical performance before. After the piano concerto, the pianist surprised the audience with an encore. The encore was a transcription the pianist made of Leonard Bernstein’s second symphony. It was a lively piece with the pianinsts hands flying left and right.
For Mozart’s requiem, Arie returned to conduct. The Ann Arbor symphony orchestra was joined by four professional soloist and five choirs. This made for both a musical and visual feast. Musically, there were over 100 voices on stage, which added to the grandness of the requiem. Visually the different outfits of every singer put together side by side made for a nice picture. I saw tuxedos with red vests, purple gowns, etc..
My only complaint is regarding the subtitles they had for the requiem. The requiem is in Latin, but they showed English subtitles on the screen. This is not a good choice because latin words would help the audience follow the singing. Seeing the English translation doesn’t matter because we aren’t following a story or plot where the meaning of the words has any significance.
There is no musical encore for Mozart’s requiem which is so grand and the last piece Mozart wrote on his deathbed. As a substitute encore, they gave every audience member a delicious chocolate truffle at the end.